On a single night in January 2017, 40,056 veterans were experiencing homelessness in the U.S. The recent HUD Point in Time report revealed that 29% of all veterans in the United States live in California this equates to 11,472 veterans. California’s unsheltered veterans (living outside) rate is 67%. By far, California has the largest share of our nation’s homeless veterans. (Meghan Henry, 2017) According to CalVet, California anticipates an additional 30,000 discharged members of the armed services each year over the next several years.
California has many resources for the burgeoned homeless veteran population, but all are taxed. Public and Private partnerships working together are the best way serve veterans leveraging their housing and supportive service’s needs. The CalVet Coalition and the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans through a Continuum of Care organizations provide job training, life skills, job skills, resume services, etc. Veterans need all these wrap-around services to transition successfully. AMVETS realized its capacity to contribute to the continuum, by utilizing donated resources and creating The Welcome Home Program to increase the VA’s capacity to deliver services directly to the veteran outside of their offices.
AMVETS first partnered with The Veterans Administrations in San Diego and Los Angeles in 2012. Working in unison with VA Case Managers, they closely determine exactly what a veteran needs to transition from homelessness. This public/private partnership has resulted in 4,010 veterans transitioning out of being homeless. We achieve these numbers with the help of public donations. They are critical. Donations are repurposed and delivered directly to veterans. The value of donated items given to veterans since 2012, is $1,937,368!
Corporate partnerships are essential. In December 2017, a new partnership with Living Spaces resulted in the donation of 315 mattresses in 3 sizes to the Welcome Home program (pictured right). Living Spaces representatives, Brett Thornton and Hesham Hebeish (picture below right and 2nd from right) as well Living Spaces team members, helped unload four semi-truck trailers. This donation increased our capacity to serve veterans on our wait list faster. Living Spaces’ partnership ensures that quality mattresses will be delivered to veterans to improve their health through better sleep.
All 315 mattresses were designated for delivery in San Diego County, Orange County, Long Beach, the Greater Los Angeles (county) and Fresno.
The team also delivers, beds, sheets, pillows, blankets, dressers, night stands, couches, coffee tables, end tables, dining room tables and chairs, refrigerators (*when available), pots and pans, and special request items, such as towels or rugs (*). The team is most proud delivering a way for the veteran to regain their dignity and become social again by making a home out of an empty apartment.
What can you do? You can come along on a Welcome Home Program delivery. Call 714-396-1872 and schedule a delivery with Karina Guzman, Program Manager. Bring a tissue. The impact is amazing. Call us to schedule a furniture donation at 1-877-990-8387. Cash donations can be made online at https://teamamvets.funraise.org/ and checks can be made out to AMVETS and mailed to the address below.
Team AMVETS Department of California Service Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit veteran service organization. We are located at 12345 Euclid Avenue, Garden Grove, California 92840.
Meghan Henry, R. W. (2017). The 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.